Emmet Mullins doesn’t venture into Britain with too much regularity. The County Carlow-based trainer has had just 37 runners on these shores throughout his training career. Only one of those 37 has run at Carlisle so it could be significant that he sends one there on Thursday. It’s a substantial 684-mile round trip so connections will be looking for compensation. There’s a significant prize pool of £15,000 on offer which would provide rich reward if the raid is successful.
So Scottish is no stranger to Britain having come over for a valuable bumper at Lingfield’s Winter Million meeting. He put in a solid performance that day, finishing fourth and beaten by less than five lengths. We can perhaps expect even better now that he’s up in trip and over some obstacles.
The horse must be brimming with confidence at the moment, having won his last two starts. Mullins’ gelding came back in August after a 90-day break a completely different horse. Prior to that, his five previous hurdles runs had been very underwhelming. Since that aforementioned break, he finished second by a neck at Tramore before shedding his maiden tag in good style at Kilbeggan. That 9-length victory was a sign of plenty more to come.
You couldn’t have asked for more from him on chasing debut at Tipperary last time out and it was a highly promising performance. Professional throughout, he always looked like the winner and scored by a comfortable margin of seven lengths. This looks like a good opportunity to extend his unbeaten run over fences. There should be plenty of improvement to come over the larger obstacles.
Fergal O’Brien’s Stoner’s Choice looks like the main danger as the handicapper believes he has 5lb to find with that rival. Stoner’s Choice did beat a 142-rated rival at Kempton two starts ago but on the evidence of his last run, the progressive So Scottish could have too much.
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